The Power of the Liberal Arts

Each of the student, faculty, and alumni stories within this issue are testaments to reaching life goals, facing challenges, and overcoming obstacles, and each shares a common theme: the value of a liberal arts education.

Scroll down to see this issue's featured stories
The interior of the Gregory Allicar Museum of Art

A Great Museum for a Great University

School of Music, Theatre, and Dance

Great universities have great art museums, and Colorado State is no exception.

Bouman and Donor

Then I found Colorado State University


Economics major Lauren Bouman shares how she is living her passion and thanks College of Liberal Arts donors for their support.


What it Means to be Human


“When we talk about science and the way it is related to politics, we are looking at the way in which human activities are interdependent with the wider world.”

Larimer County Conservation bison herd at Soapstone Prairie.

The ‘welcoming back of a nation’

Anthropology and Geography

Jason LaBelle’s research highlights the rich history of indigenous peoples and bison in northern Colorado.

Irene Vernon

A Lasting Legacy

Ethnic Studies

Irene Vernon’s record of service to underrepresented groups has made an enduring mark on campus.

Jo Buckley, Landscape

Global Treks and Triple Majors

History | International Studies | Languages, Literatures and Cultures

In her third year of college, Jo Buckley juggles the collective titles of world traveler, community leader and triple major.

Kyu Rim Kang

Awakening the mind with music

School of Music, Theatre, and Dance | Sociology

A CSU program shows that attending the symphony reverses cognitive decline in people with dementia.

Madness spray painted on concrete wall

Czech Abroad: On the Building and Breaking Down of Walls

Ethnic Studies

Like many American school children, I had heard many stories. Also like many American school children, I had never seen the wall.

Anthropology Students complete field training in Belize.

Student receives archaeological training in Belize

Anthropology and Geography

Anthropology senior Jesse Bain had the opportunity to participate in the Rio Bravo Archaeological Survey in Belize.

Katherine Wagner playing in the band

The CSU Marching Band: longest-standing Ram tradition

School of Music, Theatre, and Dance

Formed in 1901, CSU’s marching band is the longest-standing tradition, and has maintained it’s mission to represent the University, support our athletic teams, and entertain fans.

2016 Center for Public Deliberation 10 Year Celebration

Center Celebrates Decade of Student-Cultivated Public Dialogue

Communication Studies

A program that gives CSU students real-world experience facilitating discussions on difficult issues recently celebrated its 10th anniversary.

Elizabeth Sink during her Tedx Talk

Overcoming Divisiveness

Communication Studies

“I love to bring people into the room who think they are so different from each other. Those are the starting points to work from to make the world a better place.”

PLHC students listen to a ranger in Rocky Mountain National Park

CSU center partners with National Park Service to provide historical scholarship


CSU’s Public Lands History Center has received new support that will allow it to partner with the National Park Service on an expanded number of large, complex research projects.

Students creating mural

Art students transfer tradition to South African mural on campus

Art and Art History

CSU art students created a South Sotho mural out of soil, manure and tempera paint.

students posing at coffee shop

Alumni acquire coffee shop, plan to hire people with disabilities

International Studies

Fresh-brewed coffee and helping adults with disabilities is not what Chelsi and Justin Wells thought they would be doing after graduation.

Dance Performance

Honoring a Teacher and a Dancer

School of Music, Theatre, and Dance

Cythnia Mousel’s scholarship not only honors her teacher, Mrs. Fagan, but also honors the students who pursue a dance major.

Bernie donkey fun

When is it ethical to euthanize your pet?


Dr. Bernard Rollin examines the ethics of euthanizing pets.

Yusef Komunyakaa

Writers Bring their Work to Life


In 2016, CSU has hosted two Pulitzer Prize-winning poets, one national award winner for nonfiction, and an award winning English department alumnus.


Rally ‘Round the Flag of Justice

LEAP Institute for the Arts

Sandy Ceas’ work revolves around global social issues, particularly focusing on the impact of religion on communities.

Rekindle the Classics, first session, January 2016

English Beyond: Speak Out! and Rekindle the Classics


The English department enacts their passion through programs that extend beyond the boundaries of our classrooms, and even our campus.

Erica LaFehr, a junior sociology major

More than just a student

Ethnic Studies | Sociology

Sociology and Ethnic Studies major Erica LeFehr discusses ups and downs of being a full-time student and a mom.

Jim Vidakovich talks about plans for the ACT Human Rights.

TV strategist Vidakovich joins ACT Human Rights Film Festival team

Communication Studies

Alumnus Jim Vidakovich has garnered a reputation as one of the top media strategists in Hollywood.

Environmental Justice group meeting on campus

Environmental justice group emerges at CSU

Political Science | Sociology

A growing number of CSU faculty, staff and students have been joining a campus initiative focused on environmental justice.

Deanne Seitz, an ASL instructor at CSU

Sign Language courses to be introduced next fall

Languages, Literatures and Cultures

The Department of Languages, Literatures and Cultures is working to create an American Sign Language minor.

colorful painting of tea kettle

Learning the Business of Art

LEAP Institute for the Arts

“The LEAP program covers a side to the art world that I wouldn’t have gotten exposure to otherwise.”

Maggie Parsons

First generation student finds success at CSU

Interdisciplinary Liberal Arts

A first generation scholar recalls the support she received while completing her undergraduate degree in Interdisciplinary Liberal Arts.

Tyler Olson

Student Spotlight: Tyler Olson


When Tyler Olson thinks about his degree in economics, he doesn’t think of the money he could make with it; instead, he thinks of how he can use it to better the world.


Professional communicators inducted into CSU Media Hall of Fame

Journalism and Media Communication

The Department of Journalism and Media Communication inducted 10 outstanding professional communicators into the CSU Media Hall of Fame.

reading paper

December declared Student Media Celebration Month

Journalism and Media Communication

Fort Collins’ mayor Wade Troxell proclaimed December 2016 as Student Media Celebration Month.

Trevor Abeyta

Student Spotlight: Trevor Abeyta

Political Science

Trevor Abeyta reflects on the invaluable experience he has gained through the Political Science department’s graduate internship program.

Graduate students showcase their research

Liberal Arts shines at Graduate Student Showcase

Anthropology and Geography | Art and Art History | Economics | English | Ethnic Studies | History | Sociology

The Graduate Showcase celebrates research, creativity and entrepreneurship and provides an arena for interdisciplinary collaboration.

College of Liberal Arts Commencement
Benjamin Withers, Dean of the College of Liberal Arts

Message from the Dean

College of Liberal Arts

Dean Ben Withers reflects on the impact of the liberal arts.